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Liberal and National Party endorses Gold Coast Tourism hub

Tue, Mar 5, 9:49am by Staff Writer

Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones has welcomed the Liberal and National Party’s endorsement of the Palaszczuk Government’s policy approach to a Global Tourism Hub proposal for the Gold Coast.

“It’s great to see that the Leader of the Opposition, Deb Frecklington, has seen the light and has now endorsed our policy of a no net increase in pokies on the Gold Coast,” Ms Jones said.

“Gold Coasters should not forget that it was the LNP that gave the green light to a multi-billion dollar development on Wavebreak Island and the Spit with no policy around capping pokies for the Gold Coast community,” she said.

“If the LNP had won the last election, this could have added an extra 1,500 pokies to the Gold Coast,” Ms Jones said, according to Mirage News.

Ms Jones said the LNP had also endorsed Labor’s position that an integrated resort should only be approved through a “formal competitive process” and proponents must demonstrate that any proposal must deliver significant public benefit for the Gold Coast and the tourism industry,.

The remarks by the Tourism Industry Development Minister come after the state’s Premier recently announced that she wants fewer pokes in Queensland.

The Brisbane Times reported in February the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s views on poker machines.

Despite not supporting a total pokies ban, Ms Palaszczuk spoke about the rise of e-Gaming.

“It is about how you keep up with technology,” she said.

“I would actually like to see in the future that we actually have less pokies in Queensland.”

“I think we’re all aware that there are some issues associated with people who do get addicted to gambling and we do have funding set aside for that,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queenslanders lost more than $2.4 billion to poker machine in 2018.

That equates to more than $6 million a day, or a staggering $4,572 every minute.

This eclipses figures from 2017, where $2 billion was lost.

A$215 million was lost in a single calendar month in July 2017 on poker machines, representing the highest amount lost in a month since figures were taken in 2004.

The Queensland government received A$687 million in revenue from gaming machines in 2016-17 according to budget papers.

The Queensland government distributes almost A$53 million a year from gambling taxes to community groups under the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

The areas that suffered the most loss included the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Logan, Brisbane South and Ipswich.

Gold Coast residents are big poker machine spenders

In Queensland, poker machines in pubs and clubs must provide a return rate of 85 per cent while machines located in casinos must provide a return rate of 90 per cent.

With one poker machine for every 67 adults and a gaming table for every 3,862, the Gold Coast has higher concentrations of gaming platforms than other major casino cities.

People on the Gold Coast are the second biggest spenders on gaming in Australia behind Sydney, averaging A$1,277 a year.

The city’s 123 clubs and RSLs, as well as the Star Gold Coast generated A$616 million in revenue for the 2017-18 financial year.

In assessing the viability of a second Gold Coast casino, analysts Macquarie said: “we consider the Gold Coast gaming market to be one of the most competitive within Australia, given significant supply (or saturation).”

The proposed global tourism hub would seek to attract high-profile musical acts, contain apartments, a shopping centre and gaming venue.

The plan aims to attract national and international investors and is expected to boost Queensland’s A$25 billion tourism industry that supports more than 200,000 jobs.

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